Ark of bulrushes

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A painting by Konstantin Flavitsky of Pharaoh's daughter finding Moses, who is in a basket.

In the finding of Moses in the biblical Book of Exodus, the ark of bulrushes daubed with asphalt and pitch, in which the infant Moses was laid (Exodus 2:3), is called in the Hebrew תֵּבָה (tebah, modern teiva), a word similar to the Egyptian teb, meaning "a chest". It is also the same word used for Noah's Ark. The bulrushes (Hebrew: גֹּ֫מֶאgome) were likely to have been papyrus stalks (Cyperus papyrus), daubed with bitumen and pitch (which probably refers to the sticky mud of the Nile).

The ark containing the three-month-old baby, Moses, was placed in reeds by the river bank (presumably the Nile) to protect him from the Egyptian mandate to drown every male Hebrew child,[1] and discovered there by Pharaoh's daughter.

A similar story is told of Sargon of Akkad.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Exod. 1:22
  2. ^ Wikisource-logo.svg "Ark". New International Encyclopedia. 1905.